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The Soloist (2009)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 24 April 2009 (USA)
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A Los Angeles journalist befriends a homeless Juilliard-trained musician, while looking for a new article for the paper.

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(screenplay), (book)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Graham Claydon
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Jennifer Ayers (as Lisagay Hamilton)
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David Carter
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Leslie Bloom
...
Curt Reynolds
...
Flo Ayers
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Young Nathaniel
Kokayi Ampah ...
Bernie Carpenter
...
Paul Jr.
...
Marisa (as Susane E. Lee)
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Mayor Villaraigosa
...
Harry Barnoff
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Storyline

In 2005, the only thing hurting Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez more than his face from a recent bike accident was his pressing need for story ideas. That is when he discovers Nathaniel Ayers, a mentally ill, homeless street musician who possesses extraordinary talent, even through his half-broken instruments. Inspired by his story, Lopez writes an acclaimed series of articles about Ayers and attempts to do more to help both him and the rest of the underclass of LA have a better life. However, Lopez's good intentions run headlong in the hard realities of the strength of Ayers' personal demons and the larger social injustices facing the homeless. Regardless, Lopez and Ayers must find a way to conquer their deepest anxieties and frustrations to hope for a brighter future for both of them. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life has a mind of its own See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

24 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Imagining Beethoven  »

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,716,458 (USA) (24 April 2009)

Gross:

$31,670,931 (USA) (3 July 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second time Robert Downey Jr. has portrayed a real-life reporter. He previously portrayed San Francisco Chronicle reporter Paul Avery in Zodiac (2007). See more »

Goofs

Juilliard dance is not a ballet school. Reference was made to ballerinas and you see them in tutus and make up when he is living in NYC and attending Juilliard. Although they do have ballet classes, it is a contemporary dance focus. They do not do ballets. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Construction Worker: [greeting his co-workers] Buen dia, muchachos.
Steve Lopez: [narrating] "Points West" by Steve Lopez. A construction worker in Griffith Park heard the
Steve Lopez: [swerving his bicycle to avoid a raccoon] Hey!
Steve Lopez: [continuing narration] He saw a cyclist cartwheel off his bike and slam face-first into the unforgiving asphalt of Riverside Drive.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, the music concludes with the sound of a cassette tape grinding to a stop, referencing Lopez's omnipresent recorder. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 81st Annual Academy Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Mr. Bojangles
Written by Jerry Jeff Walker
Performed by Neil Diamond
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Lacked development....
9 September 2009 | by (Portugal) – See all my reviews

Steve Lopez is a Los Angeles Times columnist in need of a decent story.One day he encounters,by chance, Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless schizophrenic street musician with an abundance of talent.Lopez writes a series of articles about Nathaniel and tries to help him, to improve his conditions of living and gives him a chance to showcase his talent however Nathaniel's disease has created demons that he can't ignore and Lopez sees most of his efforts frustrated...To be honest I was expecting a way better movie, I saw the trailer months ago and it got me excited, the movie seemed to have all the ingredients to be a success,plus two amazing actors, Robert Downey Jr as Lopez and Jammie Foxx as Nathaniel.However, I felt disappointed.Lopez struggle to reach to Nathaniel and his constant efforts to help him were interesting to watch but that is pretty much everything that happens in the movie.In the end almost everything looks the same as in the beginning and not much has happened.Sure, Lopez had a small yet positive impact on Nathaniel's life and he,himself, might have gained a little something from that relationship too but I was expecting a wider range of events so to speak...I'm not saying that he should have been cured by the end of the film, as much as Hollywood loves happy endings that would be unrealistic but I did expect something to happen...some kind of development that would make this story worth telling.It never came. Maybe this story(based on real events) just doesn't translate very well to the big screen.I think the film aspired to be great but felt short.On a more positive note, Jamie Foxx's performance was great and felt very authentic.

6/10


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How could you allow these mentally ill people on the streets? thanasaki_mtl
movie with best depiction of schizophrenia? eamo-1
One of the worst performances of 2009. brettjm3
What were the colorful lights Nathaniel sees at the rehearsal? cls-6
His playing heners
A sleeper film sophia7
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